Chicago Pet Sitter: 6 Tips to Book Pet Care for the Holidays

Chicago Pet Sitter: 6 Tips to Book Pet Care for the Holidays

If there's one thing Chicago pet owners should know about boarding their furry friends during the holiday season, it's that waiting to book holiday pet care can cause a major headache.

Nearly 30 percent of Americans travel 50 miles or more between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to AAA. That makes the holidays one of the busiest times of the year for pet sitters and animal boarding kennels, as often travel plans don’t include the family pet. 

While many travelers will book holiday airfares and accomodations months in advance, sometimes pet owners don't remember until the last minute to also book a room for their pets to stay. That may mean the best dog kennels and pet sitters are already booked.

RELATED: Tips to find dog boarding in Chicago

Holiday pet boarding tips

Max Bjornson, is the general manager of the highly rated animal kennel Pooch Hotel in Chicago’s West Loop. He offered the following tips for pet owners leaving town during the holidays and in need of stress-free pet boarding:

  • Book early — Bjornson says the Pooch Hotel generally reaches full capacity about two weeks before any major holiday. Pet owners should be proactive and book a pet sitter or kennel at least one month in advance. “Holidays are absolutely our busiest time of the year,” Bjornson says. “We do fill up during non-holiday weekends, but we are fully booked for weeks during holidays.”
  • Assume nothing — Just because your pet might be a regular guest with your favorite sitter or dog kennel, Bjornson says it’s important not to assume that you automatically have a spot reserved for this or any holiday season. “We love our regulars but boarding is reserved on a first come, first served basis,” he says.
  • Take a tour — If you're looking for a new pet boarding service this holiday season, Bjornson says it’s a good idea to take your pet for a tour to ensure a good fit before the holiday drop-off.
  • Check your records — Many overnight pet-sitting facilities require your pet to be up-to-date on all vaccines and require yearly negative fecal exams. Dropping off your pet with the proper records will avoid any stressful last-minute complications, Bjornson says.
  • Pack light — One or two of your pet’s favorite toys should be enough to keep them occupied while you’re away for the holidays.
  • Update your info — Make sure your pet care provider has all your current contact information. Bjornson says you also shouldn’t be afraid to call your service to check in while you’re gone. “We love telling you how your pooch is doing,” he says.

Searching for the perfect home away from home for your pet? Check out our guide to animal boarding kennels.

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